RIYADH — Tennis star Rafael Nadal has taken on a new role as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation, a move that highlights the Kingdom's growing interest in developing the sport. Announced on Monday, this appointment underscores Nadal's commitment to fostering tennis growth both in Saudi Arabia and globally.

In his new role, Nadal, a 22-time major champion and former world No. 1, will spend part of each year in Saudi Arabia. His primary focus will be to train young talents and enhance the overall interest in tennis throughout the Kingdom. This initiative aligns with the Federation's plans to establish a dedicated tennis training academy.

Nadal, who recently withdrew from the Australian Open due to a muscle injury, expressed his enthusiasm about the potential growth and progress of tennis in Saudi Arabia.

"Everywhere in Saudi Arabia, you can see development and advancement, and I am thrilled to contribute to this movement," Nadal said.

Despite suffering from an upper thigh issue last year, Nadal made a strong comeback at the Brisbane tournament. However, 2024 is expected to be his final year in the professional circuit.

Nadal emphasized his dual goals: "I will continue to play tennis out of my love for the game. Beyond playing, I aspire to aid in the sport's expansion worldwide. Saudi Arabia shows real potential in this regard." He aims to spread tennis across Saudi Arabia, instilling positive values in the youth and educating them through the sport.

Areej Matabqani, President of the Saudi Tennis Federation, shared her thoughts on the social media platform "X". "Nadal is an icon who transcends tennis, inspiring people globally. I'm confident he will bring the same level of influence to the Kingdom. We're extremely delighted to have him as our ambassador," she remarked.

Nadal's appointment is a significant step in Saudi Arabia's efforts to invest in sports and encourage its youth to engage in tennis, a sport revered for its rich history and values.

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